Barry wants positive result at Arsenal in milestone game

Arsene Wenger has praised Gareth Barry who is preparing to make Premier League history

Arsene Wenger has praised Gareth Barry who is preparing to make Premier League history

ARSENE WENGER has revealed that Kieran Gibbs departure from the Emirates hurt more than Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Arsenal and West Brom go head-to-head on Monday evening with the Gunners looking for a win to ensure they do not lose even more ground on the top four. However, a combination of fitness and form saw him drop down the pecking order in the last couple of seasons.

Gibbs became surplus to requirements in North London after falling to third-choice left-back when Sead Kolasinac arrived from Schalke in the summer.

Wilshere's talent has never been in doubt, but it's encouraging to see Wenger confirming his fitness is a pre-requisite to getting a new deal, as the Frenchman has arguably been too loyal to his players in recent years to the detriment of the team, persisting with those who would be better off replaced. Tony Pulis was delighted at having signed the defender, especially for a price of around £5m ($6.7m).

Set to face off on Monday night, it will be the first time Gibbs would have faced Arsenal in his career, having been at the club for 13 years - and former boss Wenger has commented on the occasion, saying: "It will unusual to see him in a different shirt because he is a player who has been educated here from a very young age".

"They have warm-downs, they have what everybody does nowadays - treatment with the physios, massage, cryotherapy and all the stuff that nobody knows if it's really efficient or not", Wenger said, when asked how his players will be able to recover from Thursday night to Sunday morning.

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Wenger continued in his praise of Gibbs: "He has become an English global here".

Wenger admitted that Gibbs leaving the club hurt him more than Oxlade-Chamberlain.

Sanchez is one of few players in the league who can change a game by themselves and his 24 goals last season saved the Gunners from even more embarrassment, but he hit double figures for assists and is very much the heart of Arsenal's attack.

He made his debut for Villa in May 1998 and was the first player to reach 600 starts in the EPL.

The manager is unhappy but phlegmatic about the squeeze that has been placed on his squad, saying with a shrug it was television alone that dictated the timings and decreed the West Brom game be moved to a Monday night and the Brighton match should have a midday start. Wenger believes Wilshere wants to remain at the club and has made it clear that he wishes that the midfielder fulfills his potential at the Emirates rather than at another club. They have to respect nature and nobody could make miracles unless they dope players sometimes. "Whether it will stay around for long I don't know", he said.

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